To revive the property market slump, civil servants in a Chinese city have started selling houses as a part of their job.
Mainland outlet Economic Observer reported on June 25 that Li Shupeng, a civil servant in Yulin, a fourth-tier city of Guangxi province, has been selling houses since February.
Li tells villagers about the local government’s subsidy policy for buying a house, including discounts, cash subsidies, deed tax concessions, and even job opportunities. His other responsibility is to urge every villager to “buy existing houses as much as possible.”
He began by sending officials to survey each family. Then he improvised by using public events such as basketball matches and evening parties to inform locals about the existing house promotion.
To increase interest, he printed leaflets that featured ten house purchase subsidies offered by the town government where he is located. The leaflet has no extraneous patterns or graphics but enlarged essential information such as the precise amount of the discount.
Li also arranged weekly buses to take people to the city and see the property. A trip can take visitors to 3 to 4 housing projects. Besides villagers, it would take party cadres as well.
Li would receive no commission payment from the seller when people buy houses under his recommendation. His rewards would be credits for making the transaction happen. This would later determine his work performance and chances for job promotions.
He said the Yulin Municipal Government assigned the mission of encouraging residents to purchase 8,000 homes in 2022 as early as the beginning of this year.
Since then, all directly associated agencies, counties, municipalities, and villages have further upped their discounts and are competing to bring groups to view and buy homes to achieve this aim.
Yulin has been under pressure to increase its population, with the urbanization rate of the permanent population being 50.40%. Li said that the number of individuals entering the city would decide the final assessment indication of the city, county, and the civil servants there.
With as much effort, Li only sold 30 to 40 properties in more than four months. Economic Observers noted it was a subpar performance in the county.
Li reflected that selling a home is more complicated than he had anticipated and that most villages are opposed to relocating to the city.